The demise of the seal and the validity of certain deeds
journal contributionposted on 10.02.2015, 22:41 by UNA WOODSUNA WOODS
In Ireland, the rule of law which required an individual to seal a deed to ensure its valid execution was abolished by s.64(1)(a) of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 (the “2009 Act”).1 From December 1, 2009 a deed shall be validly executed provided it is signed by the individual in the presence of a witness; or it is signed by a person at the individual’s direction, given in the presence of a witness; or the individual’s signature is acknowledged by him or her in the presence of a witness. The witness must also attest that signature.2 As these new formalities operate only from the commencement date, an interesting question arises in relation to the validity of thousands of deeds executed before December 1, 2009. Many deeds executed since the 1970s bear no obvious evidence of having been sealed (such as a red sticker next to the signature of the grantor) and it could be argued that they have not been validly executed and are therefore legally ineffective.